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August 16, 2007

Worry worry super-scurry

Since I had begun to worry about the amount of worrying I am doing, last night I made the radical decision to do something about all of my worries at one time.

My coterie of skills as a human being were reviewed to see which one in particular might solve my worrying problem. The skill that came to mind most prominently was my awesome power of procrastination. I am in fact the finest procrastinator on the planet. This skill of mine is often disguised as leftbrainedness, or forgetfullness, or blondeness, or fear, but I am indeed at my core a pure and simple procrastinator.

I figured that since God gave me this skill, I should actually use it for good instead of evil. Therefore, I have now decided that I am going to fully postpone all nuisance worrying until November 1, 2007 at 9 p.m. in the evening. Between now and then I can put things on a worry list to refer to at the appointed time or I can just dismiss the nuisance worries altogether, procrastinating fully until the day I can worry about them earnestly and with vigorous anxiety.

I got this idea from earlier successes using procrastination as a major life-skills tool. (Look out, Dr. Phil. You may have down-home aw-shuckism and logic and "character building" stuff in your repertoire, but I have THE POWER OF PROCRASTINATION.) Maybe that's my next book: The Seven Habits of Highly Lazy Neurotics. Sure, the book only discusses Habit One but then there are cat pictures...


Anyway! This awesome life-skills strategy of Highly Focused Procrastination has worked for me in the past with my tendency to fear I might come down with various imaginary diseases, such as Monkeypox or flesh-eating bacteria. (I never worried I actually had contracted a malady. That would be some other -ism, or -chondria issue. No, I have the constitution of a horse, am very sturdy and rarely get sick. But there was always the fear of exotic illness, you see, for my little challenge is my tendency to worry about unseen future events.) For a while on the news there was a story every few days about flesh-eating disease and how nice, normal, unsuspecting folks would get a little cut or a pimple and before you knew it THEY HAD THE FLESH EATING BACTERIA!!! They were being eaten alive!!! By their own bodies!!!!!

For several weeks I had to scrutinize each blemish and imperfection carefully for signs of FLESH EATING ACTIVITY!!! Until SARS came along. Or was it Anthrax? Back when I was married, I was writing for a teen online magazine and I got of lot of mail (I was just as bad then as I am now with the mail, of course) and I would go pick it up from the mailbox place in a big box and carry it home. It was always nice mail, happy mail ... until Anthrax came along then it had the POWER TO KILL ME.

I remember during that time specifically picking out a cute picture of myself and giving it to Mr. X and making him solemnly swear to use it in my obituary in case I opened a pink sparkly letter from an alleged teenage girl in Wisconsin and then died of Anthrax poisoning. I was very worried about THE PICTURE IN MY OBITUARY. In my defense, you would understand that this is a real and pertinent fear if you've ever seen my driver's license photo. It is horrible. It's so bad that I always ALWAYS win the "Who has the worst DMV photo?" contest. In my state-issued photograph I am a color of orange that doesn't even occur in nature. The flash and excellent photo-taking skills of our California Van Nuys Civil Servants conspired to make me look like a cross between Eileen Wuornos, Portrait Of A Serial Killer, and ... Yoda.

The photo was a very serious matter.

So we all had a few laughs about my Anthrax Obituary Photo, pre-selected by me, also known forevermore as "No, I am Not Vain Thanyouverymuch. I am Just A Very Good Planner." Ah, the laughs. I enjoy making people laugh.

Then I made him sign a document swearing he'd use that photo. A girl has to keep an eye on these things, you see.

But since no husbands current or ex can be counted on to get the photo right, over time I developed an awesome little trick for dealing with things such as SARS and Anthrax poisoning and also any weird aches or sniffles or whatever. If I noticed one day that something was wrong with the ol' body electric (just a little wrong, you know, not the "I am bleeding out of one eyeball" kind of wrong) I would think, "Ok, today is Tuesday. If this (insert ailment here) isn't better in five days I will go see a doctor." And sure enough in five days whatever was wrong had either healed or vanished. Magic! Procrastination put to awesome beneficial use!

[The things I tell you people. It's kind of like watching Jerry Springer, right? Now you feel much more mentally balanced, because hey ... you at least aren't preparing for your Anthrax-related obituary. Rock on with your well-balanced self!]

I figure this Wait Five Days And Then Worry strategy worked so well on physical ailments that a modified version would work on my worry ailments. Therefore, I am not going to worry about a damn thing until November 1, 2007 at 9 p.m.

See you then, suckers! Bring chocolate! Bring Kleenex! Bring Valium! Bring wine!

And feel free to bring along any pre-selected photos in case all the worrying is fatal. It never hurts to plan ahead.

Posted by laurie at August 16, 2007 5:45 AM